March 29, 2011

Shapes and Sizes

Let me ask you to look at the pictures below, and see what your first thought is!

When I first saw this spread in this month's Hungarian Glamour magazine, I thought: Why would they publish two almost identical pictures of the same model in the same clothes?

And then I read the text and understood. The model on the right is size 36, the one on the left is size 42. They are wearing the same clothes, only of course in their own respective sizes. This is where the message definitely hit home.

As you know, I started my blog only recently and really enjoyed getting to know new bloggers all over the planet and the supportive nature of this community. I wondered how I could get involved more. I noticed many established bloggers have accounts on fashion community websites like chictopia and lookbook. So I went on and created an account at one of these. And proceeded to go through a proper crisis of faith within the next hour.

As I checked the popular users and looks, I felt more and more fat, old, and plain uncool. This shouldn’t work like this – I thought – why should I feel unwanted in a community I believed to be inclusive? Am I so naïve I didn’t realise what goes on behind the façade? (Wow, two foreign characters in one sentence. Anyway.)

As I thought about the bloggers I follow and the ones I just got to know in the past two weeks, I made my mind up. What sort of community do I want to belong to? The one that excludes me, looks down on me and makes me feel unwelcome even if I'm a little bit different? Or a crowd that is accepting, connection based, who welcome those of ALL shapes and sizes, and encourage every opinion? And who dare to look different, even, god forbid, imperfect?

The choice is easy if you ask me and if you look at Márk Viszlay’s great photos in Glamour Hungary. Beauty isn’t the requisite of the young and thin, despite popular belief, and those bloggers who dare to be different, who dare to be imperfect are my kind of people. So I deleted my account at the fashion community website and keep looking out for refreshing ideas from all around the globe, from bloggers with integrity.

What about you, have you gone through similar feelings when you started blogging? Do you still feel unwanted in the blogger community for whatever reasons?


Let’s discuss and build a community that is based on the visual, but kept going by what’s underneath!

(Disclaimer: The photos don’t belong to me, but to Glamour Hungary and Márk Viszlay. If you are the owner and wish to have them removed, contact me. Sorry for the poor scans.)

22 comments:

Lea said...

I agree with you completely there. Because I went through basically the same sort of experience when I first encountered those websites.

I'm not nearly as made up as most of the people who are "popular" and I have more of a petite athletic build than a tall & very skinny one. Scrolling through brought that sort of high school feeling back--the one of not feeling quite good enough.

To me, the point of blogging is being able to see real people, in real environments dressing based on real budgets and social constructs. There's something neat about bloggers/fashion enthusiasts that are able to get dressed and take photos that look like editorials. But then, like editorials, they attain this level of "perfection" that points out to readers what's not right about THEM.

Thanks for posting this. I'd never seen those photos before :)

<3 Lea

Madeline Quaint said...

Thanks for commenting! Good to know I'm not the only one who felt like this. You are right, real bloggers with real clothes in real situations are the ones that matter! :)

DizzyTea said...

I totally agree. I, myself, love Lookbook and really inspired by most of the users but at some point, I feel like I am seeing the same person over and over again. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with being skinny/sharing the same taste/being bigger etc. But somehow the public is promoting these people over and over again.

A few days ago I guess, Sartorialist posted a photo of Angelika in his blog and called her "curvy" and people went mad. They insisted on calling her "normal" which is as equally dumb as calling her fat or abnormal in my eye.

Being tiny, curvy, flat, skinny, tall, short, whatever it is, is becoming a huge issue everywhere and I really don't appreciate it. People can be pretty and cool at any size. It's more of an attitude rather than expensive outfits and so called perfect catwalk bodies.

I loved this article you sent, it really makes it's point I think.

xxxIpek
http://dizzytea.blogspot.com/

Madeline Quaint said...

Thanks for your comment! Nice to find your blog too! :)

You write very well, and it's good to read you don't let lookbook get you down! :D I'm actually glad to hear about how people use it and why they like it.

Your point is so true about bodyshapes being overreacted.

This whole blogging is not about conforming to a certain ideal for me. Whatever the ideal is. Imagine if we lived in the 17th century, the most hyped looks would look much much different. :) Still, it shouldn't cause anyone any sort of bad feeling that they don't look like them, but rather being inspired by them - that's the main thing.

Kirstin@CrimsonRosella said...

I am so in love with this post and you need to submit it to IFB immediately! I feel you on this subject, I hate that some bloggers feel they are better than others just because they have a dress named after them or designed a Coach bag. I don't want to feel bad about my appearance by looking at these girls either! I love the wonderful community that personal style blogging has introduced me to!

Madeline Quaint said...

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Kirstin!

You are right, I'm enjoying the community that's building around me more and more every day too. All the new bloggers I've met recently help strengthen my own blog and my own confidence. Keep it up, girls! :)

Thank you for the IFB tip, I just joined and will see what I can do to submit this post to them!

Titine and totoche said...

Hello!! Wow, what I surprise when I opened your blog!
I totally agree with you, and you should definitely submit it, like Kirstin says.
So following what most other fashion bloggers do, I too opened a lookbook account and surely soon enough I'll delete it. I thought perhaps some people might be interested in my blog. But it's so weird because it's just a webpage, and still I felt this negative vibe coming from it, totally unwelcoming and I just felt lost, amongst so many people. I joined Hypeed yesterday, and think it's friendlier, I'll try it for awhile, if not I'll delete it. But I totally understand what you're saying, at first I tried to get loads of readers, but now I'm looking for people who share the same interests and who are genuinely nice, and who don't live in this fashion bubble, who are real. And though I've just recently made the blog public, I've met really nice people, and those are the friendships I hope to cultivate.

Madeline Quaint said...

Hi, T&T, nice of you to stop by and comment! :)

I really like when you describe your goal changing from getting many followers to becoming part of a community. I went through the same thing. I'm so glad I realised this too and that I can enjoy your company without stressing. :) I hope you'll have more luck with Hypeed!

Now I just need to work out how to submit the link... It might be due to how exhausted I am at the moment, but I can't seem to work it out. :P

LV said...

I could not agree with you more. Love what you have to say and have had some of the same feelings. Great conent and can't wait to see more...following

http://foodfashionandflow.blogspot.com/

Madeline Quaint said...

Hi, nice of you to comment and thank you for your message too! :)

Britty said...

you know what don't stopp because of that! i understand what you talking about. i used to feel that way too because i have bad grammar and not a great camera. but then i decided not to care and just be myself. but don't stop you dont have to comment on fashion blog comment on other blogs, be your self, i have chictopia but i'm soo busy that have no time for haha i feel so lame sometime. man i wish i could put together a blogger things like i dont know uhm like a get together but on the internet...

sorry if you can understand this

Fashion By He said...

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come follow the first ever fashion blog from a Guys POV, let He know what you think

Fashion by He

Madeline Quaint said...

Yeah, I understand, Britty, would be great to meet up in some way. It's confusing getting to know all these people over the globe through their blogs, who you really start to like, and knowing that there's not much chance you'll ever meet in real life!
I guess virtual meetings on blogs and forums will have to suffice! :)

Britty said...

I know right! you should get a twitter

Madeline Quaint said...

I'm sure I'd lose track of my online presence if I got a Twitter as well! :)

poet said...

I agree! That editorial looks stunning... I am not on either of these sites, in part because I've read a lot about them being exclusive, promoting a young-skinny-blond beauty ideal that I neither fulfill (being skinny and young but not blond :) ) nor want to support. Look around in the fashion community, there are plenty of people who are different, and yes, they are the best! And there's another reason to be wary of these communities; some of them have less than transparent data guidelines that may lead to your material being used without proper crediting, etcetera... so there's more than one reason to watch out.

Madeline Quaint said...

Thanks for commenting, Poet!
Glamour Hungary can come up with really special editorials indeed, they work with great photographers.

I absolutely agree with you in finding your own community within the wider fashion crowd, and enjoying their company instead of being intimidated by others.

I've read up on these fashion communities in the past week and as you say, some of them aren't to be trusted with their member's pictures...

The Waves said...

First things first: thank you for leaving such a nice comment at No Signposts in the Sea! I immediately back-tracked to see who you were! :)Your blog looks wonderful. I love the fact that you write from the heart, and that you have a cute, individual style.

As for the topic at hand, I didn't really know what I was doing when I started blogging. I knew of the "proper" fashion blogs and sort of figured out early on that mine wasn't like that... and eventually things just fell into place naturally. The types of people that I have encountered via my blog seem to be interested in other things than having the latest "it"-clothes, or in other words, they are regular people just like I am. I enjoy reading blogs with a lot of thought behind them, and blogs that picture something real and tangible rather than images that remind me of ultra-cool fashion magazine editorials. Not that there is nothing wrong with blogs like that... I just like to keep things down to earth myself.

Anyway, keep writing, Madeline. You are a breath of fresh air!

Madeline Quaint said...

Thank you for tracking me down, Waves, it's great to hear from you!

Thanks for sharing about your blogging experience. I think I know what you mean and I'm currently in the process of realizing what sort of blogging behaviours would work for me the best. As you can see, I'm probably not gonna evolve into the expensive clothes-editorial photos-animated ads type of blogger. :)

I enjoy discovering blogs like yours, that are not the everyday outfit post blogs, and I'm surprised at the number of feminist style blogs out there. Great reads all around!

poet said...

I agree! That editorial looks stunning... I am not on either of these sites, in part because I've read a lot about them being exclusive, promoting a young-skinny-blond beauty ideal that I neither fulfill (being skinny and young but not blond :) ) nor want to support. Look around in the fashion community, there are plenty of people who are different, and yes, they are the best! And there's another reason to be wary of these communities; some of them have less than transparent data guidelines that may lead to your material being used without proper crediting, etcetera... so there's more than one reason to watch out.

Lea said...

I agree with you completely there. Because I went through basically the same sort of experience when I first encountered those websites.

I'm not nearly as made up as most of the people who are "popular" and I have more of a petite athletic build than a tall & very skinny one. Scrolling through brought that sort of high school feeling back--the one of not feeling quite good enough.

To me, the point of blogging is being able to see real people, in real environments dressing based on real budgets and social constructs. There's something neat about bloggers/fashion enthusiasts that are able to get dressed and take photos that look like editorials. But then, like editorials, they attain this level of "perfection" that points out to readers what's not right about THEM.

Thanks for posting this. I'd never seen those photos before :)

<3 Lea

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